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A Freelance Agreement is a document between two parties, a client (the party hiring the freelancer) and the freelancer (the party providing the services). In a Freelance Agreement, the freelancer agrees to provide certain freelance services in exchange for a fee.
A Freelance Agreement is specifically not an Employment Agreement - in fact, freelance relationships are independent contractor relationships and may not be structured to look like employment relationships. Independent contractors and employees are different because of the way both are treated under state and federal law, for purposes of fair labor laws, workers' compensation, and benefits, among other things. They are also treated differently for taxes purposes. More information can be found in Wonder Legal's guide, "What's the Difference Between an Employee and an Independent Contractor?"
Freelance services can run the spectrum, from article drafting to consulting. This agreement allows the parties to input a clear description of the specific freelance services required.
Within these agreements, the freelancer and client outline their expectations for behavior and agree to the bounds of the relationship between them - such as applicable late fees, dispute resolution, and termination.
Freelance Agreements are similar to Service Agreements but different in that they are drafted specifically for a freelance relationship, rather than drafted generally for any type of service relationship. Freelancer relationships are most often those that are contracted for a limited amount of time, to work on a discrete project or perhaps or short series of projects, and the work is most often intellectual work - such as writing or design or editing. These requirements don't strictly need to apply, but most often, do. A Service Relationship is a much more general, broad document that could cover any type of non-employment service, including those for physical labor.
How to use this document
This document can be used for a freelancer getting ready to enter into a new relationship with a client, or for a client preparing to hire a new freelancer. In this document, the form filler will be able to enter pertinent identifying details, such as whether the parties are individuals or businesses, and their respective addresses and contact information. The form filler will also input the most important characteristics of the agreement between the parties, like the specific type of freelance services, fee information, and of course, how the agreement will terminate.
This Freelance Agreement will help outline the expectations of both parties before the work actually begins.
When this agreement is filled out, it is a good idea to have it printed, signed by both parties, and a copy kept with each.
Freelance Agreements in the United States are subject to both Federal laws and specific state laws, which cover general contract principles like formation and mutual understanding. Federal laws may restrict what freelance services can be contracted for (for example, no one may not contract for anything illegal) and certain broad categories, like contracting for something that looks more like an employment relationship, but individual state laws may govern the interpretation of the contract in case of a dispute.
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